Greed, prejudice and a stolen identity…
In the four weeks since her guardian’s death, Eulogy Foster has lost everything. She travels to London seeking the help of Lord Lucien Devlin, the estranged brother who doesn’t know she exists. But Lord Devlin turns her away and alone on the streets, Eulogy is attacked, robbed and thrown onto the mercy of a passing stranger.
Jack Huntley – bitter, cynical and betrayed in love -believes women are devious, scheming creatures and not to be trusted. So when one night he saves a naive young woman from rape, little does he suspect how life is about to change. Despite his growing attraction to Miss Foster, Jack has a problem: Eulogy Foster has a secret and he can’t trust her.
As Eulogy learns the haunting story of her mother’s past, she knows she will only marry for true love. Deeply drawn to Jack Huntley, she needs him to confess his love before she shares the secret of her birth. Caught in a deadlock, with neither able to confess their true feelings, events take a sinister turn as it becomes clear someone wants Eulogy Foster dead and will stop at nothing to achieve it.
HISTORY, ROMANCE AND…CATS!
Grace Elliot leads something of a double life, as a vet by day… she is obsessed by all things feline, and author of intelligent historical fiction by night.
She is an avid reader and turned to writing as a way to de-stress from an emotionally demanding job.
She firmly believes that smart people read romance – as an antidote to the modern world!
Grace only discovered the wonders of social history many years after leaving education and, after working her way through the Tudors and medieval history, finally decided that her passion lay firmly with the Georgian and Regency periods.
Her inspiration to delve into the world of the historical fiction novel came initially from Margaret George who encouraged her pick up and read her first social history book, and Stephanie Laurens who showed Grace that to fully escape to her new-found world, she needed to write about it, which she has, most successfully.
“PASSION VIES WITH POSITION AND POWER, CAN LOVE CONQUER ALL?”
We discover some way into the story, that Eulogy was so named as a tribute to her mothers’ nobility and self sacrifice.
This accolade is in the most part deserved, as Eulogy has had some real and valid core values and standards instilled in her by her adoptive parents. She has promised herself that she will only marry for love and in return expects that the person she marries will live by and uphold those same principles in return. She has a firm belief in the morals and integrity of her fellow man to do the right thing, give her a fair hearing and treat her with respect and dignity.
Eulogy is determined in her quest to lay claim to the family which she mistakenly anticipates will welcome her with open arms. She is far too trusting and naive in her dealings with Lucien Devlin, a bitter and twisted individual, who with his hurtful and manipulative lies, will stop at nothing to destroy both Eulogy and Jack in order to protect the false and caring public image he has built up around himself, in a desperate attempt to escape the dire and destructive course he has allowed his life to take.
Grace has given Eulogy’s character a sublime sense of compassionate innocence and unquestioning loyalty, which is both touching, yet will ultimately be the cause of her near downfall. At the same time she has endowed her character with the same stubborn and intransigent streak, which will inevitably set her on a collision course with Jack, especially as she steadfastly refuses to reveal what she falsely, yet sincerely believes is an honour-bound secret she has promised and is determined to keep. One cannot help but admire Eulogy’s misplaced sense of loyalty, as she constantly allows her innocence and compassion to get the better of her in any decision making process.
Jack is the youngest son of a titled family, which means that he must pay his own way in life, as the family title has by right, passed to his eldest brother. This does not however, mean that he is to sully himself too much in his chosen occupation as he is still expected to carve out for himself a place in the upper echelons of London Georgian society, uphold the good name and reputation of the family and marry within his social class, a woman of good breeding and character.
Grace has imbued the character of Jack with the same sense of stubbornness as Eulogy, although his underlying character is probably the weaker of the two, as he does rather want to ‘have his cake and eat it’. He doesn’t reveal to Eulogy that he has already had his heart broken and been betrayed, by a lady such as she, who is considered outside of and below his social standing in society. He now thinks he has hardened his heart and considers himself bound by propriety to maintain his standing and influence within the ton, although the reality of the situation is that he cannot help but feel the need to protect Eulogy, whilst shrouding himself in a cloak of off-handedness and coolness, to hide his latent vulnerability and infatuation for her. He fights hard to deny his growing natural love for Eulogy, yet is always there when she needs him, unable to leave her feeling alone and vulnerable.
Here we then have our two protagonists and so the scene is set for a rollicking story of passion versus position and power, where they find themselves embroiled in a plot with multiple twists and turns, a real ‘blending’ of the various storylines, culminating in a resolution to their quandary which is both dangerous and fabulous. Grace also builds the sexual tension at just the right pace to keep the reader guessing exactly when they are going to succumb to the inevitable, although this in no way overshadows the underlying storyline and plot, only serving to compliment the overall enjoyment of the story.
The story is both plot and character driven in equal measure, so that I wanted to both laugh and cry with them, yet at the same time bang their heads together, for not being able to see that, the thing which they both covet the most, is right in front of them, if only they would open their hearts and minds to the possibilities. I don’t believe that this complete joining of both body and spirit is truly achieved until the final, last touching scene, as Grace continues to pour on the uncertainty and suspense, culminating in a touching and emotional finale.
If you like your historical romance laced with a touch of danger and daring, then this has to be a must for your reading list.
Another great book, even more captivating and sensual than the first, written by an author who is so obviously passionate about her subject
This book was a review copy, sent to me by the author, Grace Elliot and as such, was free of charge.
This in no way influenced any comments I may have expressed about the book, in any blog article I have posted. Any thoughts or comments are my own personal opinion and I am in no way being monetarily compensated for this, or any other article.